Genetic engineering also known as genetic modification makes use of various tools as well as techniques from bioengineering and biotechnology to modify living organisms’ genetic composition. Using plants and animal genetic engineering and cloning for human has raised many ethical issues. The advances in biotechnology and bioengineering have enabled the production of genetically modified plants and animals which are consumed by humans. However, during the processes of bioengineering, animals are used to test the expected outcomes of the genetic modification. The use of animals especially, has raised ethical issues from various perspectives in the society. In addition, genetically modified plants used for human consumption have been associated to cause health concerns in human beings. Some health issue associated with genetically engineered plants and animals is increase in cases of cancer and obesity in the society.
Animal cloning for human consumption has been largely criticized as a bad idea. The activity subjects animals to painful tests. Animal rights activists have raised issues such as abuse of animal rights. According to Center for Food Safety, research has also shown that the consumption of products from genetically cloned animals might potentially harm humans by causing serious health issues. The transfer of the genetic material from a single species to other increases a risk of new diseases. For instance, new diseases without vaccines or ready medicine might be spread to the non-genetically engineered animals. Human beings might also be affected by the new disease.
In most cases, the natural method of selective breeding has proved to be effective at a similar level to genetic engineering. In addition, selective engineering is not prone to carry the same risks associated to genetic engineering of animals. The long-term embracing of generic engineering may result in various negative impacts which can also impact the entire society. This form of change will negatively affect the natural breeding of animals, will affect the health of human who consume products from genetically modified plants and animals.
- Center for Food Safety. About Cloned animals. Retrieved November 12, 2016 from http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/302/animal-cloning/about-cloned-animals#